Tom Stone and the Soldiers of Fortune's third album Cosmic Shores shows the band synthesising their diverse range of influences into an accessible, take-no-prisoners wall of sound.
One thing that distinguishes the Soldiers of Fortune on Cosmic Shores is their encyclopaedic knowledge of the nooks and crannies of 1960s and 1970s rock - lead singer Tom Stone's enthusiastic record purchasing could have kept Sydney's independent record stores afloat for years. As a result, their music has occasional echoes of everything from Arthur Lee's Love to Deep Purple and from Mashmakhan to Queens Of The Stone Age.
Simultaneously, this is not a band content to be a museum piece doing pastiches of better artists: instead, it's a band with something to say, using the palette of classic rock to say it. Tom Stone has said that his lyrical concerns can be summed up as 'sex, death and existentialism'. As such, songs like 'Standing On The Cosmic Shore', 'The Pleaser/See How She Glides' and lead single 'White Horse Rider' are vivid depictions of Tom Stone's vision of life allied to the Soldiers of Fortune featuring Mike Eger's crashing drums, Chris Duffy's Entwhistle-esque bass, Rich Berndt's furious guitars and Tim Byron's keyboard panoramas.
All of this, put together with Michael Carpenter's sympathetic production skills, results in a swirling, psychedelic ball of sound with something for everyone. There's a distinct pop nous evident in all the catchy choruses and hooks, a genuine knowledge of how to make rock music feel very righteous indeed, and a surprisingly delicate, intricate layering of sound. Often all at once.
Tom Stone and the Soldiers of Fortune are launching the record:
Saturday 16th July: The Record Crate, Glebe, Sydney
Saturday 23rd July: Lass O'Gowrie, Newcastle
Saturday 30th July: Jane's, Wollongong
released July 16, 2016
Tom Stone & The Soldiers of Fortune are:
Tom Sowonja - vocals and guitars
Richard Berndt - guitars
Chris Duffy - bass
Tim Byron - keyboards, vocals and percussion
Mike Eger - drums
All music by Tom Stone & The Soldiers of Fortune
All lyrics by Tom Sowonja except '...And None More Shall Be Left Alive' by James Lomas and Tom Sowonja
Produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Michael Carpenter at Love Hz Studios, Leichhardt, Australia
Recording assistants - Kylie Whitney and Rebecca Guilhaus
Additional vocals by Michael Carpenter
Studio photographs by Michael Carpenter
Art Direction & Design by Honey Rogue